Campaign of the Month: May 2021
Baghdad on the Bayou
The Voodoo Queen
Face of: Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1
High Concept: The Voodoo Queen
Trouble: I owe Papa Legba ‘rent’.
Marie Catherine Laveaux is a beautiful woman of mixed heritage – approximately 1/3 each African, Native American and European. She appears to be a middle-aged woman to this day, and appears to have discovered the key to immortality, and she is not sharing. She has continued to live in New Orleans over the years under various aliases, known only to a very few select individuals who are members of the supernatural community.
Marie Laveaux was born free in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, Thursday September 10, 1801, and some time around 1820 entered a domestic partnership with Christophe Dominick Duminy de Glapion, with whom she lived until his death in 1855. They had seven children according to birth and baptismal records, however only two survived into adulthood. The elder named Marie Euchariste Eloise Laveaux , the second daughter was named Marie Philomene Glapion.
Marie Laveaux was a dedicated practitioner of Voodoo, as well as a healer and herbalist. Of Laveaux’s magical career, there is little that can be substantiated, except that she had a snake she named Zombi after an African god. She also started a beauty parlor where she was a hair-dresser for the wealthier families of New Orleans. There is some speculation that her divinations were supported by a network of informants she developed while working as a hairdresser in prominent white households. She excelled at obtaining inside information on her wealthy patrons by instilling fear in their servants whom she either paid or cured of mysterious ailments.
Laveaux was said to have traveled the streets like she owned them. Among the fifteen “voodoo queens” in neighborhoods scattered around 19th-century New Orleans, Marie Laveaux was known as “the Voodoo Queen”, the most eminent and powerful of them all. It was said that politicians, lawyers, businessman, and wealthy planters – all came to her to consult before making an important financial or business-related decision. She also saw the poor and enslaved.
Marie Catherine Laveaux Paris Glapion supposedly died on June 15, 1881, aged 79. On June 17, 1881, it was announced in the Daily Picayune that Marie Laveaux had died peacefully in her home. Her funeral was lavish, and attended by a diverse audience including members of the white elite. Several reports state that she was seen by some people in town after her supposed demise. At the time of her death, The New York Times, The New Orleans Daily Picayune, the Daily States and other news sources describe her as “woman of great beauty, intellect, and charisma who was also pious, charitable, and a skilled herbal healer.”
She is supposedly buried in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans. Tourists continue to visit and some draw X marks in accordance with a decades-old tradition that if people wanted Laveaux to grant them a wish, they had to draw an X on the tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, yell out their wish, and if it was granted, come back, circle their X, and leave Laveaux an offering. She does try to answer as many wishes as she can.